Living in Portland, Oregon and very close to The Japanese Garden we often get the opportunity to enjoy the divinity and peacefulness of the garden. We are frequent visitors to the garden, since Antony and I got married. During our early visits there were lots of Koi, belonging to The Japanese Garden. Koi helped to bring out the ethnic beauty of the Japanese culture. Because of the unexpected winter in 2008, The Japanese Garden lost its 90 percent of the koi. Now there are only few koi in the pond.
There are two major Koi Ponds in The Japanese Garden. One is the lower pond and other is the upper pond with a large waterfall. In the past, some of the members of Northwest Koi and Goldfish Club used to help with the medication and treatments to the koi. Since it was built in the early years, there were no filtrations and skimmer systems like we have now. Sometimes, they even had to move koi between the ponds for cleanup. The gardens Koi Pond was built more like a Japanese water garden pond, with a mix of maple trees, stones, Japanese lantern and a large waterfall. The heavy fall of the leaves from the trees also made difficult for koi to survive in the pond.
In the heavy winter of 2008 in Portland, the access to the garden was blocked and no one was able to check the koi for a week. Most of us were even stuck in our homes for 2 weeks. There was also power outage for one or two days. Luckily, we had stocked food and filled propane tank for cooking. We had air working in our pond which gives oxygen to the Koi. This also helps to create an open space of ice in the pond for air to go in and out. In Japanese Garden they had waterfall, so there was no need of aeration. But during the snow days when there was no power, the waterfall stopped. For a week, no one was able to get there because of the ice.
In 2010, with the help of a koi keepers funding, Japanese Garden officials were able to contract with Tony Prew owner of All Japan Koi, to do some maintenance on the Pond. He was able to install filtration system and skimmers. He was also able to remodel the pond to make the pond a little deeper. This helps koi to overcome heavy winter. The koi needs at least 4 feet deep pond to overcome the winter. Polyurea liner was coated on sides to overcome leaks. Now Japanese Garden is trying to find funds for bringing Koi to the garden and bring back the Koi population of the garden. More information can be found at The Japanese Garden website http://japanesegarden.com/koi/ . The video above was taken in September 2010. We will keep you updated with the progress of the work at The Japanese Garden Koi Pond.